Pastor leads 25th anniversary surprise
On the final day of the recent 40 Days for Life campaign, hundreds of people attended the huge Closing Celebration which was scheduled to end with a candlelight vigil. Pastor Fred Fies of McKee Road Baptist Church was scheduled to speak before the candlelight vigil, but he surprised Tim and Terri Palmquist by first calling them to the stage for a presentation. “It has been my privilege to witness their courage and dedication and we thought it appropriate tonight to thank them for their dedication to this cause,” Pastor Fies told the crowd.
Pastor Fies presented the Palmquists with a plaque which read “in appreciation for your unwavering devotion to God and loving care for the unborn,” commemorating their 25th anniversary of ministry.
The Palmquists, stunned by the surprise, began walking away from the stage after the presentation. But Pastor Fies called them back, saying “we’re not done!”
He explained to Terri and Tim that a love gift had been collected. “We want you to use this to take time together for spiritual refreshment.” At Pastor Fies’ encouragement, audience members began streaming to the stage with more cash to add to the gift.
“Please don’t use this for your bills,” Pastor Fies told Tim and Terri. “After this 40 days we want you to rest and renew. This will take other people who will take their duties for a few days so that they can get time away.”
Cards were also presented to the Palmquists with many signatures and encouraging words from 40 Days for Life participants. Along with Pastor Fies, Lupita Morelos and Amy Palmquist had played key roles in orchestrating this gift and presentation to Terri and Tim.
“We are blessed beyond measure to be able to work with people like all of you,” Tim told the crowd.
“This outpouring of love brought both Terri and me to tears, and we were so shocked and surprised that day that we were almost speechless,” Tim later said. “I was already trying to arrange a time to get away with Terri for our 25th wedding anniversary on April 28, but it looked like it wasn’t going to be possible. Now, thanks to those of you who participated in this effort, we can have a wonderful celebration looking back at what God has done over the past 25 years and looking forward to what He is going to do in the years ahead. From the beginning, we envisioned our marriage as an opportunity to serve God and others, but the pain we have experienced through recent devastating circumstances in our family has made it very difficult to continue in ministry this past year. But in the midst of this pain, God used 40 Days for Life participants to bring us great joy.” (Photos and details on how the Palmquists celebrated their 25th anniversary are now available.)